The fact that people are always told that working hard or desiring something strongly enough will make them get it is not always true. In many occasions, people take all their time working for something they desire but at last fail to achieve. It is, therefore, not fair because it makes people to blindly put all their efforts and finally fail to succeed; this can cause agony. In the film Little miss sunshine, we get the story of a family who is going through many obstacles as they aim to achieve their desires.
This film in a broad way captures the themes of unity, losing and winning (Film Education, 2007). These are brought out on the way the family amidst many individual desires goes on a trip to support the young girl in a beauty pageant. Unity is being manifested when olive learns that she had secured a chance to participate and showcase her talent in the beauty pageant contest. The family has no finance because Olive’s farther is struggling with his career. The family decides to help Olive by accompanying her to the contest in an old van that encountered myriads of mechanical challenges on their way.Order now
They, however, helped to ensure that Olive arrives at the venue but was four minutes late (Otto, 2007). When it was her turn to present, her family members except her mother tried to prevent her from participating because they felt that the other participants were much experienced than her and she was likely to get embarrassed. She, however, proceeds to the stage and when the viewers showed a sign of displeasure, they tried to pull her out of stage but the family members shows unity and joins her dance on the stage. Failing is also significantly observed throughout the film.
First, Richard who has been trying to put a motivational program that touches on failure and success is so obsessed with this course while making no efforts to make it successful. He blindly base every fears of life expressed in any person as ways of losers. In the film, Richard says that Frank tried to commit suicide because he lost hope in himself; by doing that he asserts that Frank is a loser because winners never give up on themselves. He also tells frank that winning has nothing to do with luck as he had wished Olive (Mehmet, 2009).
He thinks that life about desires to win and success automatically comes. Richard also compares his son’s goals to the programme steps he had written, and says that the family can learn something from Dwayne as soon as he finishes the nine steps of his programme. Since Richard is not keen on the real life challenges, losing the chance to sell his nine step programmes that explains success will be a big blow to him. The theme of winning is also evident in this film. Despite the challenges that every member if going through, each one has a turning point where they get a winning attitude.
Frank who had attempted suicide after losing a lover comes to stay with his sister’s family. At the beginning of the three day journey to the beauty contest, Frank shows a losing attitude but when the van stalled and needed to be pushed, we see Frank’s attitude suddenly change (Otto, 2007). He comes out and happily gets involved in pushing the van and when the van finally moves, he looks excited and can see a reason to live again. Dwayne who wanted to be a pilot has decided to keep silent until his dream comes to pass.
On the day they were travelling to the contest, he suddenly realizes that he is colour-blind and was not going to be a pilot. He looks upset and even storms out of the van (Mehmet, 2009). When Olive hugged him, his attitude suddenly changes and finds himself closer to the family and happier than before. Olive who is seen as the main character in this film loses the beauty contest. Contrary to many people’s expectations to find Olive embarrassed for not meeting the level of the contest, she stands out relaxed. She looks aware of the unpredictable nature of life.
When her family realized that she had lost, they joined her on stage and were all send out. This overcomes the loss by Olive because the family gets united and a strong bond among them is created. Every family member had taken a distinctive path and even as it appeared that they were losing their sole mission, they were able to realize that they were winning. Generally, the journey to the contest was marred with many obstacles. The mechanical problems, Olive’s failure to win the contest among other problems gave them the strength to push forward and were able to succeed as a family (Mehmet, 2009).
The family came back home more united and happier than when they left. Richard is blind about the real life situation, he believes in his motivational course because of his simple perception of life’s success. He wants to succeed in his motivation career and he thinks that his desire is enough to make him succeed. She tells Olive that she will win the contest if she wants it because he believes that winning is only about wanting and having enough desire for it. At the end, his course fails to sell and Olive loses the pageant. Working hard does not always guarantee us a win in our endeavours.
Film Education (2007). Little Miss Sunshine. Retrieved from:
Mehmet, F. (2009). Film Analysis – Little Miss Sunshine; Exploring Themes on Winning, Losing, and Unity, Retrieved from:
Otto, J. (2007). A Film Review: Little Miss Sunshine. Retrieved from: